I received a divine tap on the shoulder.
That’s what the late preacher, Peter Marshall, called it. It’s a God-initiated interruption to life-as-usual that demands attention.
It could be a inexplicable sense of restlessness or unexplained feelings of dissatisfaction. It might come on the heels of a professional failure or a moral tumble. It’s not uncommon for a divine tap to follow a great success.
Regardless, to ignore the tap is like failing to heed the low-oil warning on your dashboard. You run the risk of a severe and costly breakdown. So, you’d better pull over.
In the Old Testament, God gave His people a weekly tap on the shoulder. “Sabbath” derives from the Hebrew command, “Cease.” This commandment gave God’s people permission to lay aside their normal routines, not only to give them rest, but to remind them that He–and He alone–is their provision and protection.
God’s call to rest isn’t a command to remain idle. He may call us to cease activity for a time, but idleness isn’t what He has in mind.
“Sabbath” involves more than the cessation of normal activity. It’s often described in Scripture as “solemn rest” (Exodus 16:23). It carries the idea of rest with purpose, in the same way we might block out time in our schedule to spend time with a spouse, a lover, a child, or a friend.
The Lord gave His people a Sabbath one day each week, and then one year out of seven to not cultivate their fields–to forfeit valuable income–to rest in His provision and protection.
While we are no longer bound by these Old Testament, land covenant laws, the principles that animated them remain alive today. We are granted an opportunity to enjoy a day of “solemn rest” each week. And, from time to time, God’s issues a personal command to “cease” and to give Him focused attention.
It’s a divine tap on the shoulder, calling us to stop, turn around, and discover what He wants to reveal. (For some of us thick-headed people, the “tap” comes like a brickbat to the head.)
For me, lately, the Lord has invited me to reexamine my identity and calling. I have described it as my “crossroads moment.”
If you have received a divine tap on the shoulder, cease! Stop what you’re doing. Give the Lord your complete attention by asking, simply, “Lord, I’m listening. What do you want me to know?”
If you know what I’m talking about, let me know. I’d like to hear about your divine tap on the shoulder.